In today's tough economic times, and thanks to the continued emergence of bigger, better and more cutting-edge business events, event planners need to stay ahead of the game. Strategically marketing an event is crucial if you want to get the attendance levels you're hoping for.
So, we outlined a few tips to help ensure your event gets the awareness it needs and generates attendance from your target audience.
Your marketing plan is the go-to guide that all other marketing channels feed from. Without a plan, you have no idea of who you want to attract, how you'll do it and the results you plan to generate.
Your marketing plan should contain a clear vision for your event; who are you? what do you do? where do you want to be? who do you want to attend? what does success look like?
Once you know the answer to these questions, you'll be better positioned to create campaigns that will grab the right attention.
Know Your Market
Rather than throw your marketing campaigns out to the world and hope that they catch someone's interest, it's much more sensible to define your market, and tailor your marketing for your own particular audience.
Understanding who your target delegates are, where they are, what they expect from you, and what they think of you... goes a long way to knowing how to offer them an invitation to an event they surely won't want to miss.
If you can't measure it, it's not worth doing. Define objectives for your marketing activity, including what you'd like to achieve and by when.
Hoping to achieve hundreds of attendees within a week is not a realistic objective. Further, 200 people that have clicked Like on your Facebook event does not mean 200 attendees. Plan what your next step will be once you've grabbed your audience’s attention, and how you'll engage with them enough to attend.
Once you are clear on who you're targeting and what it is you'll say, your messaging needs to be impactful, and consistent. Defining a brand tone takes time, research and a strong understanding of your audience. Will your event be formal? Fun? A business conference or a large scale celebration? Tailor your tone to fit. Once you've established the voice of your brand, every message you put out there needs to follow suit.
Print advertising, trade shows and direct mail shots are all still good tools for marketing an event. But today, business professionals may very well be better found online.
Consider which channels your audience uses, which publications they read and which events they're likely to attend. Then tailor your campaigns in these areas.
Despite what many agencies may tell you, great marketing doesn't have to cost a fortune. Set a realistic budget, and opt for the activities you can cover with what you have to play with. Good PR is essential for raising awareness and online content such as a blog or online news feature can boost your web presence significantly.
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